CEO – Gord Nixon meet Ermine Darroux – 2012 Convention Cruise

Here I am on my time off work – trying to create some space on my google drive when I hit upon this picture which made me smile. Yes – this is almost 10 years ago on board the Celebrity Cruises as a Convention Cruise Winner!!! Oh My! What pleasant memories! But there is a story and a lesson behind this picture.

Prior to the COVID19 pandemic our global organization would bring together the top 800 employees from countries where we operate plus a partner/spouse/family member onboard a 5-to-7-day Caribbean Cruise. The weeklong event was packed with activities from pin collection to team building to networking to the flash mob… Yes! We did it all!

Flash Mob

One sunny day during the cruise it was announced that our CEO (at the time was Gord Nixon) would be stopping by the pool deck to speak to us. I am not always an early bird, but, in this instance, ensured that I left my room early enough armed with my camcorder (yes, I owned a camcorder lol). As the old English Proverb goes “early bird catches the worm” so I got an upfront spot on the pool deck waiting to see and listen to the youngest ever CEO! At age 44 he was the head of a global Canadian based financial organization with over 70K employees. Wow! I wanted to capture this well anticipated moment to share with my colleagues on my return.

Cameras ready and in the right position – here comes Gord walking right pass me and making his way to the front stage to address the enthusiastic crowd of 800 top employees plus guests. As he approached the stage, the screams got louder and rowdier. Suddenly, I was literally shoved to the side by one of my colleagues from another island who apparently was more eager than anyone else to meet the CEO. And just like that I lost my spot – the front stage, the perfect position for my video. Unbelievable!

Audience gathered on pool deck in anticipation

Pauline Kael was quoted as saying “Where there is a will there is a way…”, from the back I raised my long arms with my camcorder and continued with my sole purpose to capture our CEO on video for my colleagues back home.

After much screaming from the audience, he delivered his message and did not disappoint us. Following his inspiring address, he got off stage and started greeting the ‘VIPs’ – people who gathered were around the stage. I thought – oh my! that could have been me! it was like President Obama arrived. My tape continued to roll as I watched more persons push their way through to meet the influential CEO.

Suddenly through my lens I noticed Gord was looking in my direction and began to approach me. My nervousness grew by the second but I kept calm and well poised. There I was speechless as I did not expect him to come over since I was pushed to the back. Wow! I met Gord! and We shook hands! Guess who captured the shot? The same person who shoved me to the back to meet the famous CEO. Ha Ha Ha.. so funny.

Moral of this story – We do not always have to crush everyone to get to the top; there is a time and place for everything. We will get there – where we are supposed to be. We must never stop preparing for that moment or time. Prepare for that next big thing as someone is always watching and opportunities will come in the right time.